Where do you go in Newcastle when you have a craving for steak? Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, that’s where! The clue’s in the name really but with so many new places opening in the city over the last year or so, I have to admit that MPW had fallen off my radar a bit! So, when James and I were invited to review a meal there, we thought it would be a good opportunity to find out if it can still hold its own on the Newcastle restaurant scene.
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse is located on the ground floor of Hotel Indigo just beside the Assembly Rooms. The decor is simple and stylish but unfortunately the restaurant backs on to a less than desirable side street which means the curtains are permanently closed and there’s not much natural light. The once open kitchen is now largely blocked out too, by the arrangement of some high back booths, but there’s a comfortable, unfussy feel about the place and the staff are very welcoming.
James and I were seated in one of the booths which was very cosy and gave us a bit of privacy, I hate it when tables are too close together don’t you? Head chef, Paul Amer, was kind enough to send out an amuse-bouche while we perused the menu. It was a lovely little espresso cup of warm soup with truffle and it certainly whet our appetite.
Our drinks order was taken quickly and although we both had steak firmly on our mind, I persuaded James to order a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc as I’m not a big fan of red wine. There were three different ones to choose from, ours was Chilean and it was very crisp, I loved it!
The wine was perfect with our starters of Marco’s Lobster Macaroni (James) and Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Salad (me). The presentation of the salad was a little old fashioned but the quality of the ingredients in both dishes was second to none and we certainly couldn’t grumble about portion size, in fact, James had to help me finish mine.
James’ starter had a generous amount of lobster which he absolutely devoured and the fresh shoots used to dress the dish made it very elegant. I did have a little bit of food envy at this stage! I soon got over it when the steaks arrived though, this is what we had been looking forward to all day!
The options had my mouth watering but I knew straight away that I wanted Ribeye, it’s my fave! James decided to go for the same but he chose skinny fries and I went for fat chips. There were five different sauces to choose from… Bordelaise Butter, Peppercorn, Wild Mushroom, Béarnaise and Escargot in Garlic Butter.
I ordered my Ribeye medium-rare with the mushroom sauce and was delighted with how it was cooked. The sauce was rich and velvety with a hint of truffle as well as lots of assorted mushrooms. I resisted pouring the whole pan over my steak as I didn’t want to over power the flavour of the meat but I definitely made a good choice. The chips were indeed fat, almost like roast potatoes and the meal was served with a side salad and roast tomatoes, it was all absolutely delicious and like the starters, the portion was hearty. I began to the fear the worst… no room for dessert!
As soon as I saw the Escargot Garlic Butter on the menu I knew James would choose it, unlike me, he’s a big fan of snails, combine it with a steak and he’s heaven! Definitely not my cup of tea but it was great to see an alternative to the usual suspects on the sauce menu. James said it was delicious and made the meal very special. He enjoyed his steak with a glass of red wine recommended by our waiter who had a great knowledge of the wine list and was very chatty and friendly.
After our meat feast we were both very full and were deliberating whether or not to order dessert. The options were mouthwatering and all classically British, I’m talking Sticky Toffee Pudding, Eton Mess, Rice Pudding, Cambridge Burnt Cream… I just wasn’t sure we’d have room. So, I was delighted when the decision was made for us and a Pre-dessert of cheesecake , meringue, ice-cream and berries was brought out for us to share. Although in truth, there wasn’t much sharing going on, I have much more of a sweet-tooth than James!
We both felt very spoilt by the team at Marco’s and the standard of the food was excellent but this place is certainly not cheap. Two courses each and a bottle of wine would have come to over a hundred pounds which is hard to justify unless it’s a special occasion. However, you don’t have to spend as much as that to experience Marco’s, there’s a great value early bird menu and you’ll often find special offers discounted vouchers on their website. At the moment, there’s an offer for two people to enjoy afternoon tea for £17.95.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant, particularly if you’re steak lover, but if you’re a bargain lover too then be sure check online if there’s a deal available.